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Buying To Build – Sunset Beach

Second in a series

Buyers in the market for a “piece of paradise” are often surprised to find that vacant land, even very large “pieces,” is available and at prices that look like a bargain in comparison to what similar offerings would command elsewhere. In this “Buying to Build” series, Realtors will comment on listings ranging from multi-acre parcels in the country and on the coast to small lots in city neighborhoods…what they will have in common is that all will offer development potential.

Considering the worldwide name recognition the sport of surfing has brought to Sunset Beach, plus exposure through film and television productions, it seems remarkable that a large vacant, buildable, beachfront parcel would still be available.

However, an approximately 3/4 acre lot with more than 100 linear feet on the beach is now on the market as a new listing by Sterman Realty.

Not only is this choice parcel located in what has become the North Shore’s best known neighborhood, it also occupies a favored surfing spot known as Rocky Point.

Principal Broker/President Richard Sterman, who has been active in North Shore real estate since 1978, calls the section of shoreline between Sunset Beach and Pipeline “the Magic Mile.” “A lot of professional surfers and retired pros have settled here. Major surfing vendors such as Billabong, Hurley, and Volcom have purchased, mainly in the Pipeline area. They utilize these properties during the surf competitions and at other times as well. This is ‘Surf Central,'” Sterman said.

Over the years he has handled numerous major North Shore real estate transactions, including sales in the area’s only gated community, Sunset Beach Colony, also known as Velzy-land. The approximately 29 acre parcel, previously occupied by old, neglected homes, was subdivided into 29 fee simple lots which were marketed by Sterman Realty and sold out in a one-day auction in 2003.

The 31,385 square foot Sunset Beach property now on the market is being offered by Sterman Realty Realtor Elizabeth Suratt for $6.5 million and can be purchased in its entirety or subdivided. A 15,000 square foot oceanfront portion of the property is priced at $4.5 million.

Suratt, a third generation resident of Sunset Beach, has been active in the North Shore real estate market for 30 years and specializes in oceanfront. Her own home is close-by on Ke Nui Road.

“This property has been vacant for about 35 years,” Suratt said. “The owner, a kamaaina who moved to California, has finally decided to sell rather than develop it himself. The residential property is zoned R-5, with utilities available, and has potential for a beautiful beachfront estate overlooking pristine white sand beaches, the wide expanse of ocean, and surfing activity.

“I advise anyone interested in creating their dream home and becoming a part of our really special, ocean-oriented community that vacant land here, especially beachfront, is in short supply. Prices began escalating noticeably last October. It appears that the whole world has fallen in love with the North Shore of Oahu.

“In addition to the buyers from the Mainland West Coast, who discovered and embraced the North Shore lifestyle decades ago, we are seeing buyers from all parts of the world, more so now than in the past.”

Suratt pointed out that the North Shore itself has evolved into a destination with appeal to a broader demographic. There are increasing options for shopping, dining, and recreation. In addition to large ranches and a polo field that have contributed to the North Shore’s image as horse country, now organic farmers are the main group gravitating to the larger parcels. The North Shore has also benefited from changing tourism trends, including ag-tourism, and an increasing number of longer term visitors. This exposure to visitors also supports the real estate market, often leading to the purchase of second homes in the area.

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